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flyer85
03-08-2007, 10:39 AM
from Carroll of BP. I found this interesting as a possible reason why Wagner lost his effectiveness.


Red light: Wagner’s one of the most clear cases of why it’s so difficult to change a pitcher. When Don Gullett first worked with him, Wagner had a pushy motion that made his fastball dance. When he cleaned up his mechanics, that also cleaned up his fastball; clean mechanics are only good if the heater stays filthy. There’s a balance there between health and effectiveness, the true balancing art of modern pitching.

Highlifeman21
03-08-2007, 11:00 AM
Ryan Wagner, victim of Don Gullett

Who else can we add to that list?

dfs
03-08-2007, 11:06 AM
No disrespect to Will Carroll and everything, but who the hell thinks Ryan Wagner's mechanics are all cleaned up? That's absurd. The notion that Ryan Wagner got screwed up by listening to people seems in direct contradiction to everything you hear about the guy.

One of the problems of trying to follow 30+ teams is that you end up making crap like that up.

I'm not a big Gullet fan and I think there are a passle of young guys that he didn't manage to help. Ryan Wagner is NOT one of them.

flyer85
03-08-2007, 11:09 AM
Ryan Wagner, victim of Don Gullett

Who else can we add to that list?not really the point. The point is that when drafted Wagner had nasty stuff and nasty mechanics(which caused most to think he was an arm injury waiting to happen). The Reds help smooth out some of the mechanics which had the unintended side effect of making his offerings less nasty.

I think it is a cautionary tale that messing with relief pitchers less than perfect mechanics can have a serious downside.

flyer85
03-08-2007, 11:12 AM
No disrespect to Will Carroll and everything, but who the hell thinks Ryan Wagner's mechanics are all cleaned up? That's absurd. The notion that Ryan Wagner got screwed up by listening to people seems in direct contradiction to everything you hear about the guy.In the end, we don't know exactly what the real story is.

I can say that, without a doubt, his offerings are much last nasty than when he came up as a rookie. His fastball has less sink and movement and his slider lost its downward tilt and now breaks mostly in the horizontal plane. For whatever reason Wagner is much more hittable than he was in 2003.

princeton
03-08-2007, 11:22 AM
in his entire life, Ryan Wagner had one, single good year. One. He was not a prospect before that year, and he would not even be in the big leagues or considered a prospect were it not for that one year.

it WAS quite a year, but it proved difficult to repeat that delivery and, therefore, that season.

flyer85
03-08-2007, 11:27 AM
in his entire life, Ryan Wagner had one, single good year. One. He was not a prospect before that year, and he would not even be in the big leagues or considered a prospect were it not for that one year.

it WAS quite a year, but it proved difficult to repeat that delivery and, therefore, that season.maybe it was nothing more than dumb luck and unrepeatable mechanics that fell in place for one season.

westofyou
03-08-2007, 11:37 AM
Three years ago he wrote this:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2605


Add in injury concerns for Ryan Wagner, unquestionably talented, but young and possessing a violent motion,

Then this:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2792


I got a chance to see Ryan Wagner live for the first time. Admittedly, I didn't have a great angle on him, but he defines "violent delivery." There's a drastic whip, major scapular loading, and he ends very upright. Yesterday, it wasn't effective, but he's certainly had past success. I hope that he'll be able to work on that delivery while maintaining his effectiveness.

Gee , I wonder why they tried to change his motion?

flyer85
03-08-2007, 11:39 AM
Gee , I wonder why they tried to change his motion?makes you wonder if he would trade keeping the violent motion for 2-3 years of being really good before his shoulder gave out (kinda like Dibble).

RANDY IN INDY
03-08-2007, 11:45 AM
Three years ago he wrote this:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2605



Then this:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2792



Gee , I wonder why they tried to change his motion?

Just goes to show that it's a whole lot easier to be a "second guessing" writer than it is to be a pitching coach.

flyer85
03-08-2007, 12:01 PM
Just goes to show that it's a whole lot easier to be a "second guessing" writer than it is to be a pitching coach.I didn't see his comment as second guessing, I saw it as pointing out, that changing pitching mechanics is an inexact science and can often have unintended and deleterious side effects.

westofyou
03-08-2007, 12:12 PM
I didn't see his comment as second guessing, I saw it as pointing out, that changing pitching mechanics is an inexact science and can often have unintended and deleterious side effects.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=268


JGalt73 (Portland, Oregon): Will- from your database, is there a "riskiest" play in baseball (e.g., sliding into second, hitting the outfield wall)?

Will Carroll: Throwing a baseball under the age of 24.

flyer85
03-08-2007, 12:14 PM
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=268and especially a lot of innings. I often wonder what careers Gullett and Gooden might have had without all those innnings that were piled on them at a young age.

westofyou
03-08-2007, 12:18 PM
and especially a lot of innings. I often wonder what careers Gullett and Gooden might have had without all those innnings that were piled on them at a young age.

Yep, here's the top ten guys in IP in the division era, age 22 and under... it's a laundry list of arm injuries.


CAREER
1969-2006

AGE <= 22
BATTERS FACED displayed only--not a sorting criteria
ERA vs. the league average displayed only--not a sorting criteria

INNINGS PITCHED IP BFP ERA
1 Bert Blyleven 1054.2 4280 0.75
2 Dwight Gooden 924.1 3694 1.26
3 Frank Tanana 840.2 3406 0.92
4 Fernando Valenzuela 752 3074 0.58
5 Don Gullett 659 2715 0.42
6 Dennis Eckersley 633.1 2621 0.59
7 C.C. Sabathia 588 2486 0.37
8 Bret Saberhagen 549 2217 0.71
9 Vida Blue 543.2 2151 0.94
10 Steve Avery 543 2303 -.08
11 Jeremy Bonderman 535 2321 -.47
12 Storm Davis 526 2166 0.67
13 Dave Rozema 525 2162 0.80
14 Alex Fernandez 467 2009 -.27
15 Mike Witt 462.2 1986 0.05
16 Terry Forster 456.2 1942 0.35
17 Mark Lemongello 454 1925 0.09
18 Ismael Valdes 451 1864 1.01
19 Greg Maddux 435.2 1892 -.52
20 Clay Kirby 431 1880 -.33

jojo
03-08-2007, 12:30 PM
No disrespect to Will Carroll and everything, but who the hell thinks Ryan Wagner's mechanics are all cleaned up? That's absurd. The notion that Ryan Wagner got screwed up by listening to people seems in direct contradiction to everything you hear about the guy.

One of the problems of trying to follow 30+ teams is that you end up making crap like that up.

I'm not a big Gullet fan and I think there are a passle of young guys that he didn't manage to help. Ryan Wagner is NOT one of them.


Will Carroll has pretty much become irrelevent as a source of true baseball knowledge IMHO. He's mostly a fluffy guy at this point.

Highlifeman21
03-08-2007, 12:33 PM
not really the point. The point is that when drafted Wagner had nasty stuff and nasty mechanics(which caused most to think he was an arm injury waiting to happen). The Reds help smooth out some of the mechanics which had the unintended side effect of making his offerings less nasty.

I think it is a cautionary tale that messing with relief pitchers less than perfect mechanics can have a serious downside.

Gullett made Wagner less effective by cleaning up his mechanics.

I'm just wondering allowed if Gullett had similar results from working with other pitchers.

princeton
03-08-2007, 12:39 PM
Gullett made Wagner less effective by cleaning up his mechanics.



my take is that Wagner came in to big league camp the year after he was drafted, could no longer get anybody out, and in spite of suggestions on mechanics from a string of pitching coaches, he still can't.

need to dig up that dead guy that helped him in college.

a seance is his best hope.

RedsManRick
03-08-2007, 12:44 PM
Seems to me there's a fair point in here. How many other guys have dominated with filthy stuff and filthy mechanics only to break down and lose their effectiveness? Now, maybe the point is that the Reds would've been smart to leave well enough alone and get some use out of Wagner before his should exploded.

Of course, the other point in the Wagner story is that if you can't locate your out pitch, and the pitches you can locate are hittable, you won't be successful in the majors. As soon as his fastball straightened out, he was toast. Even when he first came up, he walked 12 in 21.2 IP. He was successful only because he was unhittable (13 hits in those 21.2 IP).

flyer85
03-08-2007, 12:45 PM
I guess the list provided is a good reason to steer clear of Bonderman.

KoryMac5
03-08-2007, 01:05 PM
I know there was an article written last year that the Nats told him to go back to the way he was pitching in college.

paulrichjr
03-08-2007, 01:11 PM
I personally think all of this changing that the Reds did to the mechanics of these guys who had "filthy" deliveries added in the Reds having an abundance of arm problems in our system over the past few years. When a guy trains his arm for years with a certain motion and then it is changed because it doesn't fit the "perfect" mold you have to believe that it "can" lead to arm troubles.

I would not at all be surprised to see Wagner turn out better than Maj.

Chip R
03-08-2007, 01:14 PM
So, here's an ethical question. You're a pitching coach for a major league team. You have a pitcher who has filthy stuff and has had success in HS and/or college and the minors. Problem is he has a motion that you believe is going to cause him trouble a few years down the road. There is an excellent chance he's going to be a dominant pitcher for at least 2-3 years. Do you leave him be and hope his arm doesn't explode in the middle of a pennant race or do you change his mechanics and possibly limit his effectiveness?

westofyou
03-08-2007, 01:18 PM
So, here's an ethical question. You're a pitching coach for a major league team. You have a pitcher who has filthy stuff and has had success in HS and/or college and the minors. Problem is he has a motion that you believe is going to cause him trouble a few years down the road. There is an excellent chance he's going to be a dominant pitcher for at least 2-3 years. Do you leave him be and hope his arm doesn't explode in the middle of a pennant race or do you change his mechanics and possibly limit his effectiveness?

Branch Rickey would dial him up with what he had and sell him off before he exploded.

Redsland
03-08-2007, 01:18 PM
So, here's an ethical question. You're a pitching coach for a major league team. You have a pitcher who has filthy stuff and has had success in HS and/or college and the minors. Problem is he has a motion that you believe is going to cause him trouble a few years down the road. There is an excellent chance he's going to be a dominant pitcher for at least 2-3 years. Do you leave him be and hope his arm doesn't explode in the middle of a pennant race or do you change his mechanics and possibly limit his effectiveness?
If his name was Scott Williamson, I'd probably try to turn him into a starter.

:)

Caveat Emperor
03-08-2007, 01:24 PM
I would not at all be surprised to see Wagner turn out better than Maj.

Damning by faint praise if I've ever heard it.

Chip R
03-08-2007, 01:38 PM
Branch Rickey would dial him up with what he had and sell him off before he exploded.


That's one option but you are pretty much guaranteed this guy is going to put up Billy Wagner/Johann Santana numbers for at least a few years. You sell him of for 50 cents on the dollar? And what do you tell the other team when they ask you why you want to trade him?

gonelong
03-08-2007, 02:03 PM
So, here's an ethical question. You're a pitching coach for a major league team. You have a pitcher who has filthy stuff and has had success in HS and/or college and the minors. Problem is he has a motion that you believe is going to cause him trouble a few years down the road. There is an excellent chance he's going to be a dominant pitcher for at least 2-3 years. Do you leave him be and hope his arm doesn't explode in the middle of a pennant race or do you change his mechanics and possibly limit his effectiveness?

Provide the player with the information as you see it and let him decide. Most of the guys are going to go with what got them there. So now you have a clean conscious and a serviceable player (with a ticking clock for background ambiance)

Ride them until the arm blows up, rehab 'em, and see if you can ride 'em for a few more years.

GL

dfs
03-08-2007, 02:06 PM
In the end, we don't know exactly what the real story is.
I can say that, without a doubt, his offerings are much last nasty than when he came up as a rookie. His fastball has less sink and movement and his slider lost its downward tilt and now breaks mostly in the horizontal plane. For whatever reason Wagner is much more hittable than he was in 2003.

While there is much truth in what you say, I see absolutely no evidence that Ryan Wagner's mechanics have ever been straightened out. Absolutely none. His mechanics have always been a disaster waiting to happen. I'm not a great observer of all the physical aspects of the game, but that was so obvious that even I couldn't miss it.

Blaiming his being hittable on what the pitching coach did seems irresponsible when there is just as much evidence that what we have here is a college pitcher with horrible mechanics rushed to the big leagues before he could establish a consistant basis for succcess. Blaim Bowden for drafting him. Blaim Boone and Bowden for promoting him to fast. Leave Don Gullet out of it.

Ravenlord
03-08-2007, 02:45 PM
for those who don't think Wagner's mechanics are any different aren't paying attention. he still scap loads, but he doesn't finish upright or have the same arm angle he did in 2003.

texasdave
03-08-2007, 02:52 PM
makes you wonder if he would trade keeping the violent motion for 2-3 years of being really good before his shoulder gave out (kinda like Dibble).

Makes you wonder how many college coaches care about mechanics. They figure the player is gonna be out of there after 3 years and his arm will probably hold up. I can hear them now saying "just get them out son, we don't care how you do it". Pitch counts? We don't need no stinkin' pitch counts!

dougdirt
03-08-2007, 03:04 PM
Branch Rickey would dial him up with what he had and sell him off before he exploded.

Branch Rickey didn't have nearly the type of money invested into thes guys that baseball does now either.

I think his decision would differ today.

Ravenlord
03-08-2007, 03:15 PM
Branch Rickey didn't have nearly the type of money invested into thes guys that baseball does now either.

I think his decision would differ today.

i don't. i doubt the % yields of what is being spent aren't too horribly different.

flyer85
03-08-2007, 03:40 PM
for those who don't think Wagner's mechanics are any different aren't paying attention. he still scap loads, but he doesn't finish upright or have the same arm angle he did in 2003.he seems to have a lower arm slot, I noticed that last year with the Nats. I thought that may have a lot to do with the fact he can't seem to get on top of his slider and make it go down like it did back in 2003. When I saw him last year his fastball was his best pitch, his slider tended to just spin out over the plate wearing a sign that said hit me.

westofyou
03-08-2007, 05:26 PM
Branch Rickey didn't have nearly the type of money invested into thes guys that baseball does now either.

I think his decision would differ today.

You're probably right, to a point...I don't think he'd draft a guy like Wagner high because of the motion, but I bet with a free pick up type he'd ride that pony until it blew.

RANDY IN INDY
03-08-2007, 05:35 PM
he seems to have a lower arm slot, I noticed that last year with the Nats. I thought that may have a lot to do with the fact he can't seem to get on top of his slider and make it go down like it did back in 2003. When I saw him last year his fastball was his best pitch, his slider tended to just spin out over the plate wearing a sign that said hit me.

Based on what I know about Don Gullett, I doubt he contributed to that lower arm slot. Matter of fact, I thought Wagner had a lower arm slot in college than he did in the majors.

It's real easy to sit back and second guess after the fact. Makes a lot of people look like geniuses who really don't have a clue.

flyer85
03-08-2007, 05:52 PM
Based on what I know about Don Gullett, I doubt he contributed to that lower arm slot. Matter of fact, I thought Wagner had a lower arm slot in college than he did in the majors.

It's real easy to sit back and second guess after the fact. Makes a lot of people look like geniuses who really don't have a clue.I guess more than anything it is example of how fleeting success in MLB can be.

RANDY IN INDY
03-08-2007, 05:53 PM
That is an absolute. These guys are good.

dfs
03-09-2007, 11:46 AM
for those who don't think Wagner's mechanics are any different aren't paying attention. he still scap loads, but he doesn't finish upright or have the same arm angle he did in 2003.

FWIW I don't believe anybody is of the opinion that wagner's mechanics are not different. I, at least, am of the opinion that Wagner's mechanics have never been straightened out. Whenever I've seen him pitch he looked different on a pitch by pitch basis. It's ....well, I don't want to say it's impossible to succeed like that because I remember what Tiant did to the reds in 1975, but it's very difficult for a young pitcher to succeed at the major league level if they don't have a consistant motion.

Maybe that's just me, but it's what I saw. I saw it four years ago when he first came up and I saw it last year in Louisville. The notion that the reds pitching staff was responsible for his "decline" seems to give Wagner credit for a level of success unreasonably based on 20-40 innings 4 years ago.

Now you can believe that Gullet screwed him up if you want, because I certainly believe that Gullet and young pitchers didn't get along too well. You can believe he got hurt and Kremcheck missed the diagnosis if you want because that seems to happen in cincy pretty regularly too. But I'm a bit more inclined to avoid conspiracy thinking on this one and just think that Jim Bowden pretty much wasted a draft pick in order to try and get a return RIGHT NOW so that he and Bob Boone could save their jobs. He took a gamble and the franchise paid the price.

Team Clark
03-09-2007, 01:25 PM
Just goes to show that it's a whole lot easier to be a "second guessing" writer than it is to be a pitching coach.

Ahhh the view from the press box! :laugh: Those chairs do get comfy.

traderumor
03-10-2007, 07:26 PM
I know there was an article written last year that the Nats told him to go back to the way he was pitching in college.I'm sure they did. "Hey Ryan, you know when you used to get people out...do that." :laugh:

Ravenlord
03-10-2007, 09:11 PM
he seems to have a lower arm slot, I noticed that last year with the Nats. I thought that may have a lot to do with the fact he can't seem to get on top of his slider and make it go down like it did back in 2003. When I saw him last year his fastball was his best pitch, his slider tended to just spin out over the plate wearing a sign that said hit me.

he's different with the Nats then he was in 04 with the Reds...but the tape i have him in 04 is right before he got sent to the minors or DL'd...don't remember which.

either way, he was 3/4 in delivery coming up, in 04 he was high 3/4 not quite overhand...and now he's not quite sidearming.

Sea Ray
03-13-2007, 06:37 PM
For whatever reason Wagner is much more hittable than he was in 2003.

I think the reason he's hittable now is simply the scouting report. Major league baseball is a game of adjustments. The scouting reports got around and it said lay off the slider. The slider is rarely a strike. Wait for something else to hit. Now it's up to Wagner to adjust

Sea Ray
03-13-2007, 06:49 PM
Provide the player with the information as you see it and let him decide. Most of the guys are going to go with what got them there. So now you have a clean conscious and a serviceable player (with a ticking clock for background ambiance)

Ride them until the arm blows up, rehab 'em, and see if you can ride 'em for a few more years.

GL

I don't think there's any question: You ride him as is for as long as possible. When does changing a guy's mechanics ever make him better? I can't think of one example.

Take a guy like Rob Dibble. Most of us knew he was destined for about a 5 yr career. Let him rip for 5 yrs and enjoy the ride...

red-in-la
03-13-2007, 11:53 PM
not really the point. The point is that when drafted Wagner had nasty stuff and nasty mechanics(which caused most to think he was an arm injury waiting to happen). The Reds help smooth out some of the mechanics which had the unintended side effect of making his offerings less nasty.

I think it is a cautionary tale that messing with relief pitchers less than perfect mechanics can have a serious downside.

I think the point here is.....if you don't like a pitcher's mechanics....DON'T DRAFT HIM.

Sometime baseball people start to believe the BS that sports writers and fans say about them.....in the case of Don Gullett, it seemed that he might have begun to think that every pitcher he coached had to pitch HIS way.

I can think of two other players who have suffered (IMHO) from the so called coaching in Cincy.....messers Dunn and Kearns.

LINEDRIVER
03-14-2007, 12:31 AM
I think the reason he's hittable now is simply the scouting report. Major league baseball is a game of adjustments. The scouting reports got around and it said lay off the slider. The slider is rarely a strike. Wait for something else to hit. Now it's up to Wagner to adjust

That pretty much hits the nail on the head, IMO. Ive been saying that for quite awhile. After he made his way thru the league a time or two, his effectiveness went south. The book on him must be saying to lay off the slider cuz it will probably break out of the strike zone and wait for the fastball over the plate as he tries to gain a strike or two in the count

The hard-headed Wagner should seriously be working on a third pitch.

I heard the Nationals' beat writer on XM last week saying that Wagner is going back to somewhat of a side-arm delivery like he had in college.